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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Anti-Smoking Community Sues President

Jakarta:“We have hired 15 lawyers,” said Indonesian Consumers Foundation management, Tulus Abadi, at a public discussion on the subject in Jakarta yesterday. The number 204/Pdt/G/2008 lawsuit was registered at the Central Jakarta State Court.

They called on the President and the DPR to immediately ratify the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and continue the discussion on Tobacco Effect Control Regulation Plan. As support of their case, the plaintiffs will submit the link between tobacco and poverty, Tulus added.

The cigarette industry is seen to be exploiting national poverty. About 73,8 percent of poor urban fathers have become smokers. They spend 22 percent more of their income on cigarettes than rice every week.

The Forum’s chairman, Tubagus Haryo Karbyanto, said that in 2006, cigarettes represented the second highest advertiser (valued at Rp 1,6 trillion), following cell phones. A year later, cigarette ads came down to number three (RP 1,5 trillion), after cell phones and motorcycle ads. The Indonesian government participated in the FCTC discussions in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1999 until 2003. However, he said, “Indonesia is the only South East Asia country that has not signed the FCTC.”

Indonesia Parliament Forum chairperson, Sri Utari Setyawati, stated that the Bill on the Control of Tobacco Effects on Health (RUU) is supported by 257 DPR members. “This Bill is similar in substance to the FCTC,” said Utari.

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